November 28, 2022

kathleengkane

Be Inspired By Food

Pumpkin Chili {Filled with Meat & Vegetables!}

Healthy and delicious Pumpkin Chili is filled with meat and veggies. It’s a perfect fall soup recipe that the whole family will love!

There are certain soups that taste especially delicious in the fall like Butternut Squash Soup, White Chicken Chili, and this delicious Pumpkin Chili!

A bowl of pumpkin chili topped with sour cream and cheese.

Fall Chili with a Twist

Soup is perfect on a chilly fall day. And what goes better with autumn than pumpkin?!

This Pumpkin Chili is a match made in heaven. It’s nice and thick, thanks to all the veggies and two kinds of meat.

The pumpkin puree gives it a rich and hearty flavor and balances out the acidity in the tomatoes. And of course, it’s loaded with vitamins and high in antioxidants, so the chili is extra nutritious.

Adding pumpkin to chili creates a subtle layer of flavors, similar to when people add chocolate to chili. It helps with the smooth texture. The sweetness of the pumpkin pairs well with the spiciness of the chili.

Be sure that you use pumpkin puree and not pumpkin pie filling.

If all you’ve ever tried is sweet pumpkin recipes, I hope you’ll give this Pumpkin Chili a try. It may just become a fall staple at your house!

Ground beef and peppers browning in a soup pot for pumpkin chili.

An Easy One Pot Soup

Making this Pumpkin Chili recipe is very simple, and the prep work can even be done earlier in the day, or the night before.

GROUND BEEF. Brown ground beef and sausage over medium-high heat in a large soup pot. Drain off any grease.

VEGGIES. Add chopped onions and green peppers. Saute for 2-3 minutes.

COOK. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or till vegetables are tender.

ENJOY! Serve hot with garnishes such as sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, and Tortilla Chips.

Alternative Cooking methods

Dutch oven campfire chili.

  • Heat up 20-25 charcoal briquettes. Place the empty dutch oven over 10-12 of the briquettes.
  • Once the dutch oven is hot, brown the ground beef and sausage. Saute the onions and bell peppers, then add the remaining chili ingredients.
  • Place the lid on top of the dutch oven and cover with 10-12 more hot briquettes. Cook for 20-30 minutes or until the chili is bubbly and hot. 

Crock pot Pumpkin Chili. Reduce the amount of beef broth to 1 cup. Complete steps 1-3 except instead of putting the ingredients into a cooking pot, pour them into a crock pot. Cook on LOW heat for 6-8 hours, or HIGH heat for 3-4 hours.

Easy pumpkin chili cooking in pot.

Recipe tips

Simmering soup. Once the chili has reached a boil, reduce the heat so that the temperature lowers to around 185-205°F. This is right below a boil.

  • Simmering allows time for all of the flavors to meld together and break down the meat so it is nice and tender. 
  • Simmer for 30-60 minutes. Just pay attention to how much moisture is evaporating and give it a stir every so often so the food on the bottom doesn’t burn. 

Toppings. Serve the chili with your favorite toppings like sour cream, shredded cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, and Tortilla Chips would also be tasty.

Flavor Variations

  • Spice it up with chili powder, cayenne pepper, hot sauce, or red chili flakes.
  • Tone down the spice by adding extra pumpkin puree, honey or brown sugar, tomato paste, or a squeeze of lemon or lime juice.
  • Meat and beans. Use ground turkey or ground chicken. Navy beans and pinto beans can be used.
Spoonful of pumpkin chili close up image.

Make a Pumpkin serving bowl

Purchase beautiful ceramic pumpkin serving bowls, or serve this Pumpkin Chili out of a hollowed-out pumpkin. It takes a bit of extra time, but it’s worth the effort. 

  1. Find a medium size pumpkin to fill with all of the soup or smaller pumpkins for individual bowls.
  2. Cut open the top and be sure to make it large enough that you can ladle out the chili.
  3. Scoop out all the seeds and strings until the inside is clean and smooth. 
  4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  5. Line a round pizza pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil to catch any liquid that may leak out of the pumpkin. The bottom of the pumpkin may become too soft to move and it’s easy to simply transport and serve it off the pan. 
  6. Place the lid on the chili-filled pumpkin and bake for 30-60 minutes, depending on the size. The pumpkin is done when you can easily insert a fork into the outside flesh.
  7. As you serve/eat the chili, scrape some of the cooked pumpkin flesh out and eat it with the chili.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this Pumpkin Chili recipe with some of our favorites:

Storing info

STORE. Leftover chili with pumpkin can be stored in the refrigerator for up to five days.

FREEZE. For longer storage, freeze for 4-6 months. I like to freeze the soup in freezer Ziploc bags. Just make sure it’s completely cool before spooning it into the bags.

Recipe for hearty pumpkin chili with garnishes served in a white bowl.

Try these other tasty soups:

Course Soup

Cuisine American

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

Total Time 45 minutes

Servings 8

Calories 181 kcal

Author Lil’ Luna

  • Brown ground beef and sausage over medium high heat in a large soup pot. Drain off any grease.

  • Add chopped onions and green peppers and saute for 2-3 minutes.

  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 30-40 minutes, or till vegetables are tender.

  • Serve hot with garnishes such as sour cream, shredded cheese, green onions, and tortilla chips.

If chili gets too thick, you can add additional beef broth or water.